By Andy Young

The Young Guns of Wine Awards aim to find Australia's best young winemaker and the 2016 winners have been named.

The 2016 Young Guns of Wine

The trophy caps a year-long search and this year’s top award, the Riedel Young Gun of Wine, was won by Josephine Perry of Dormilona in Margaret River.

In 2013 Perry picked up the Best New Act trophy at the awards and this is the third time she has been named as a finalist for the top award. Speaking after the win, Perry said: “I was stoked to be in the top 12 again this year so when my name was read out it was a great surprise and an honour to receive the award. It makes all those sleepless nights thinking of my wine babies worth it, and it gives me great confidence to keep following my instincts.”

Mark Baulderstone of Riedel Australia added: “Riedel are proud to sponsor the top award because it represents creativity and excellence, virtues close to our hearts. Congratulations to Jo Perry on taking the trophy, a terrific winner. Her Dormilona wines are pushing the creative boundaries in Margaret River whilst maintaining precision and quality.”

The night’s other awards including the Wine Australia Best New Act, which was won by Jasper Button of Commune of Buttons in the Adelaide Hills.

Button, who has a focus on wines with ‘drinkability’ from organic and biodynamic vineyards, said: “Natural wine is finding a place very quickly through many folk because it makes sense. It’s about letting the fruit speak for itself, not the winemaker speaking for the fruit. It makes discussion about what’s in the glass more accessible and therefore more interesting to a wider bunch of people, because fruit speaks to anyone.”

The People’s Choice, decided by the wine buying public, was taken by Ricky Evans of Two Tonne Tasmania, while the Ocean Eight Winemaker’s Choice, voted by the finalists, was won by Michael Downer of Murdoch Hill in the Adelaide Hills.

Brian Walsh, Chairman of Wine Australia, spoke to guests at the trophy presentation: “This competition is different from all others and brings a unique energy and vitality to the sector. In the decade of its existence, The Young Gun of Wine Awards has become an incubator for emerging talent in the Australian grape and wine community. A casual perusal of the nominees since 2007 reads like a who's who of the contemporary wine scene in Australia.

“Wine purchasing can be a daunting experience for some consumers, but to a person the young gun nominees work to demystify wine, talking of accessibility and fun, while simultaneously pushing the boundaries in their craft.”

Nick Stock, who has led the panel of judges since the competition’s inception, said: “These awards are about gathering like-minded and uniquely individual talents together, rallying eclectic and far flung tastes, making noise, getting them noticed and having a fucking great time along the way.”

The Shout Team

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